tv Democracy Now LINKTV April 8, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PDT
funding for this program was provided by... woman: you have the biggest smile on your face right now. oh, bananas! narrator: when things go well, most days are characterized by a list of routines, a series of middle moments which may include eating, sleeping, toileting, and playing. these are the moments in a child's preschool life when valuable lessons are learned. tell him it's your grocery cart. it's my grocery.
hello. i'm joanne hendrick, author of the whole child and your guide to this video series. in this program, we'rgoing to look at some of the daily routines which make up most of a young child's day. we'll see why these "middle moments" can be so meaningful in the lives of our preschool children, and we'll learn what we can do to help foster both emotional and physical growth during these middle moment opportunities. we'll visit with children and teachers from a number of different early childhood programs-- family day-care homes, head start, university-based lab schools, and private child-care centers-- and we'll see how they make the most out of the day's middle moments.
this is simba and nala when they were growing. and this is when...when they growed up apart, ok? let's pretend, o hendrick: a child's life isn't always full of new and exciting events and activities. there are times in a child's day when nothing very thrilling happens. the children come and they go. they eat. they rest. they go to the bathroom. and the next day, they come and they do it all over again. boy: hey... but sometimes children, like adults, can lose control. right in the middle of what should have been a normal, typical moment, things go to pieces. girl: hey, i need it! i need it. i need to talk! teacher: erica, how about i talk to michael, and you talk to daniel. hi, daniel! hendrick: what can we do to keep this from happening?
how can we ensure that our children's daily routines-- their middle moments-- are meeting their needs in a way that is nurturing, flexible, and positive? girl: ok. ok, bye. the rest of your friends are in the lunchroom. woman: can i go and put up the stuff? sure, go right ahead. how are you doing today? fine. camille and brian's medicine, the same one, and thanks for finding it for me. daily routines make up the backbone of a child's early experiences. how we handle these tasks not only sets the tone for the rest of the child's day, but it also lets the child know she's being nourished and well cared for. she's a little shy right now. here you go, precious. ♪ good morning to you ♪ good morning, good morning ♪ ♪ good morning to you ♪ our day is beginning ♪ there's so much to do ♪ good morning, good morning
♪ good morning to you there are several principles we can put into practice when we set our schedules, provide meal and snack times, help children separate from their parents, begin naptime, and take care of our young children's toileting needs. boy: i don't like this. woman: right. if you don't like something, say, "no, thank you." boy: no, thank you. learning takes place during daily routines. daily routines provide wonderful opportunities for a child to learn more about herself, the world, and other people. thanks, jill. there's another one. daily routines offer children a sense of stability, a feeling of warmth and caring from the teachers. could you bring the green and the yellow paint to the table here? our challenge is to develop appropriate daily routines for children which offer them a sense of consistency
and a healthy sense of security. man: ♪ up on a mountain, two by two ♪ ♪ up on a mountain, two by two ♪ hendrick: at the same time, these routines should be flexible and responsive to the individual needs of each child. man: ♪ we make a motion, two by two ♪ sometimes marcel's going to come out and join you even though you didn't pick him to go on the mountain, and that's ok, because--remember? why? what are we helping marcel to learn? child: to sit down. yeah, and join us for circle time, ok? he's never had to do that before. so you guys are going to be what for him? child: teachers. good job. ready, guys? here we go. ♪ up on a mountain, two by two ♪ ♪ up on a mountain, two by two ♪ ♪ up on a mountain i bet some of my friends ride their bikes in the springtime. child: i do! do you? yeah. hendrick: and let's keep in mind how important consistent but flexible daily routines are to our children with special needs. children with learning delays, children in wheelchairs, and children unable to speak especially need to know that their needs will be tended to
in a responsive, consistent way and that if they need a little extra time or assistance, their teacher will help. no, not look at it. take it to your mouth. good girl. lay it down. good girl. [girl crying] hendrick: we begin our examination of daily routines with one of the first events of te day. does this look familiar? there comes a point in almost every baby's life when she feels very strongly about being left by her parent. often referred to as "separation anxiety," the child might sob frantically and seem absolutely inconsolable when separating from her family member. our handling of separation anxiety is really important for our children's emotional well-being. so what helps? what could you do to help a child separate easily? first of all, we can reassure the child with calm words and affection that the family member will return.
it may be tempting, but during separation anxiety, avoid bribing the child. i've seen so many caregivers try to use food as a way of pacifying the child. what do you think is wrong with that? what kind of message does it communicate to the child? i'm concerned that these children are being taught to use food as a way to calm emotional upsets rather than learning to understand and work through their feelings. separation anxiety provides an excellent opportunity to support family members as well as the child. our goal is to work together with the family to establish appropriate routines and responses to separation anxiety that help the child to overcome his fears, and of course, to develop a warm, nurturing relationship with each child so that all the children in our care feel safe and secure while away from home. some practical things to do that make separating easier include arranging for the child to visit before spending the whole day,
encouraging the parent to remain until the child feels comfortable, making sure the family member tells the child when leaving and then sticks to the decision to leave, letting the child keep security objects such as blankets or stuffed animals, and if the parent is very concerned, suggest they phone later for a report on how the child is doing. most preschool classrooms follow a basic daily schedule. why do you think these schedules and plans are so important? of what value are they to your children and to you? can you imagine what life would be like in your classroom without a schedule? woman: thank you. they go in here, patrick. it's cleanup time. this car was turning around. it was making a u-turn? help us pick up all the cars, please. boy: ♪ oh, i was brushing my teeth ♪ hendrick: among other things, a schedule can help ensure the consistency that young children need, and it can also help us make sure
that all areas of development are encouraged through planning a wide range of activities. woman: yay! ok, one more song, and then we'll go outside. hendrick: it can be very helpful if we think of our daily schedule as a guide. but what do you think might happen if we set our schedules in stone and left no room for changes? woman: yeah, we're going to make lemonade. boy: our--our hands are going to be cold. hendrick: flexible schedules let us capitalize on those wonderful teachable moments that arise when children discover something unplanned that interests them. they allow us to extend or shorten a play period so the children gain maximum satisfaction from what they're doing. another variation to a routine might be if it's 9:30, and they haven't finished an art project or something, then it would be important to let them finish it up. and play it by ear. if it's 9:30, oh, that's ok. we can start snack in 10 more minutes. just because it's 9:30, snack doesn't have to begin right then and there.
the children need time to get finished with what they've been doing, and a little bit of warning needs to be given to them, and then move on. so a routine is real important, but the time schedule should be flexible so that they have that time in the middle for flexibility. ♪ if you're happy and you know it, stamp your feet ♪ hendrick: in creating our schedules, it's so important to provide a healthy balance for our children. for example, is there a balance between times when children must conform to group procedures and a time when individual needs are emphasized? woman: do you want to do it again? no? you're finished. boy: i want to make pancakes! look at your hands. is there any paint on your hands? look on this side. what do you need to do now? go wash. hendrick: is there a balance between quiet and noisy activities? a balance between indoor and outdoor activities?
that's his job. he's the pinsetter, and he's the ball return. you could ask him if you could help him. can i help you? woman, voice-over: i think it gives them a sense of security to know what's going to happen next. it gives them a sense that they're in control, and once they have that sense of security, they're able to deal with flexibility better. and i also--again, when there's change in routine, i really try hard to prepare them for that change because they do become creatures of habit. so if we've run overtime and we're not going to have time for small group and we're going to transition right into snack at the end of large group time, i usually say to them, "something's different. something different is going to happen today," and then prepare them for the change, and that's always helpful. [baby talk] different woman, voice-over: i think it's so different
to work with infants and toddlers than working with preschoolers. it's like a whole different ball game. you really have to slow down the rhythm. you have to be so much more flexible. you can't plan out everything that's going to happen during the day. and you have to be very sensitive to what's going on. you have to pay attention to each baby, what they're doing. do they need a diaper change? you can't plan out some elaborate activity because they're exploring the world, so you need to really follow them in their explorations, which means you have to be paying a lot more attention, i think. and also, there's this whole intimate physical relationship that you have. if you work with babies, you have to feel pretty comfortable sitting down on the floor, letting babies crawl up onto your lap and cuddle with you and be physically affectionate. so it's a whole different kind of experience working with infants.
is that a different taste? is that a different taste? hendrick: the way we handle daily routines is especially important for babies. through such tasks as feeding and diapering, we communicate to the child that she can trust us and that we can be relied on to nourish and provide for her. this special bond of trust is called attachment. child psychologists assert that the trust and attachments that develop within the first two years of life can determine not only the emotional future of the child, but of the adult, as well. but maintaining this bond of attachment and trust doesn't happen automatically or easily. group care for infants can be especially difficult and hard to manage. what steps would you take to ensure that your handling of daily routines helps to nurture and enhance the baby's development? what would you say? what kinds of things would you do to make a difference? here are some tips that help our children trust and emotionally attach to us.
1--practice listening and paying attention to what the baby is telling you-- be sensitive to his cues. 2--pay attention to your own verbal cues and body language. -talk to the baby, even though he may not be speaking yet. 4--don't rush through daily tasks. take your time. 5--establish routines that are based on each individual baby's needs. and 6--hold the babies during bottle feeding. feeding is such a wonderful opportunity to form warm, nurturing relationships. it's that consistency in their life. they know that when i come to school, this is what i have to do. and the parents tell me, the child told me this is what they had to do, and this is what they have to do. and i show the parents, this is our daily routine. we do this at this time, this at this time. and they're like, "oh, ok. so that's why when he finishes his dinner,
he wants to scrape out his plate and go to his room and color." well, if it works for you for whatever reason. yes, we have consistency, and children need that. hendrick: take a look at this classroom. what's the teacher doing? what is she saying? and how do you think this might help in her children's performance of routine tasks? mrs. dodson says we have to look at the clock. we have 5 more minutes. that's not a long time. so you need to put some cookies in this pan because we'll be cleaning up in 5 minutes. the time we spend moving from one activity to the next makes up a large part of the preschool day. these transition times are important because they can make the day seem smooth and well-organized or rushed and unpleasant. in addition to allowing a realistic amount of time for transitions to take place, it always helps to warn once in advance before making a change in activities. this gives the children a chance to finish what they're doing, and their cooperation is more likely.
why do you think it might also help to move the process along if we comment favorably about the next activity? [boys singing] singing also helps children move along during transition and cleanup times, in addition to avoiding situations where all the children are expected to do the same thing at the same time. you didn't like the egg? that's a hard-boiled egg, and they just cut it up. i didn't like that, that, or that. did you try the noodle? yeah. you tried the noodle? you didn't find it good? different child: i don't like it. i'm done. hendrick: a few words about food and nourishment: all of us understand how important adequate nutrition is. everyone doesn't have the same diet, so let's be especially sensitive to our children
who are vegetarian, lactose intolerant, or who have other special religious and dietary needs. let's talk to the families and find out firsthand which foods are appropriate and which are not. woman: you're so happy. you have a full tummy now? hendrick: let's discuss feeding time and infants. why do you think it's important that we feed a child when he's hungry, rather than according to a schedule? the challenge is, of course, recognizing how each baby lets you know he's hungry. what signs should you look for to determine whether a baby is hungry and wants to be fed? it's very important that we establish open communication with parents about their infant's feeding and nutrition. would you like some more? look at nancy. children prefer plain, familiar food they can eat with their fingers. it's important that snacks vary from day to day and that snacks, drinks, and desserts are nutritious rather than junk.
ok, let me tell you what we're having. we are having rice. we are having beans. and we are having greens and rolls. ok? so i want you to try a little bit of everything. i've found that food is an excellent area for supporting multicultural experiences. when there are children at school from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, it's particularly crucial to include foods they like and that are familiar to them. eating should be a positive experience. let's look at some basic principles about mealtimes that will help keep it that way. 1--children eat at their own pace. some children eat faster or slower than others. some youngsters eat more than others do. 2--eating should be a pleasure, but tying foods together with behavior, either as a reward or a punishment, can sometimes cause eating disorders later on. 3--eating should be a shared and cooperative experience, with foods served family-style.
mealtimes should be a time to chat, enjoy, and help each other. 4--mealtimes can encourage independence. mealtimes are opportunities for children to be independent by making choices about food. 5--we should encourage children to taste everything, but let's be careful not to force them to eat. it's got bears on it. it has bears on it? let me see those bears. what are those bears doing? why do you think toileting is an especially important learning experience for youngsters? what kinds of things do you think we can teach our children when they go to the bathroom? oh, thank you. what a great help. what a great help. down. down. up, down. through our handling of diaper changes, toilet training, and self-toileting, the children in our care learn about their bodies, social customs or attitudes, gender differences, and personal hygiene.
put some soap on. plane. i hear a plane. is that a plane up there? yeah. i got some. scrub them together. you need to shut off the water. shut off the water? shut it off. ok. show me how to do it. show me how to shut it off. hendrick: most preschool children can be expected to go to the toilet when they feel the need, but once in a while, a child may have to be reminded to go. in encouraging self-toileting, it's important that we convey a positive attitude to the child, being careful not to shame or humiliate them. not all children are ready to be toilet trained at the same age. boys seem to take longer. also, youngsters who are developmentally delayed may require extra time, patience, and reminding.
to make accidents less traumatic, it always helps to have an extra set of clothing on hand, as well as a private place to change. let's be sure we emphasize hand washing as a consistent part of the toilet routine and before handling food. consistent hand washing is the most effective way to control illness. we can serve as role models for children by washing our own hands often, before and after routine tasks. not so fast. slow down. you're being a good little helper, but you are just too fast. that's ok. hendrick: there's nothing like taking a break to recharge our mental and physical batteries. it's worth noting that naptime can present some of our more challenging moments. naptime is one routine that can either convey warmth and security or stress and turmoil to our children. it's up to the child as to whether or not they sleep, but it's also our job to smooth the way for a more relaxed and quiet rest time. first of all, let's look at some of the reasons
why a child may find it difficult to settle down. what kinds of issues do you think could interfere? children often have trouble settling down at naptime because restful sleep is an act of trust. and sometimes it's hard for children to relax. all preschool children need to lie down and relax for a while, but older children need not sleep. under these circumstances, it's ok for some children to get up and play outside or in another room following a reasonable rest period. no matter what your techniques, we can help our children have a positive nap experience by setting a daily pattern for naptime that is quiet, calm, and consistent. we can create a restful mood for children by reading quietly, playing soothing music, and rubbing backs. children should be spread out as much as possible, cots placed head to toe, and fidgety children should be placed in out-of-the-way corners. naptime is such an important part of the preschool day.
thoughtfully develop your own methods for making napti a pleasant and positive experience for the children in your care. some children won't sleep, and that's ok. if the children i know already that the children aren't going to sleep, but i know that they will rest if they have something to occupy their time with, then i'll give them something quiet like a couple of books, might turn the music on soft-- something so that they can enjoy that time, that time for rest and for quietness. in this program, we have looked at several ways to handle daily routines in a way that helps nurture young children. these include realizing the importance of daily routines in enhancing the physical and emotional health of infants and young children; maintaining daily routines which are consistent but also flexible; establishing routines which respond to individual needs,
especially when a baby or child is experiencing separation anxiety; using a daily schedule as a guide and starting point, but making sure the schedule is realistic and flexible enough to allow for last-minute changes and innovations; paying attention to the importance of transition times; assuming an active role in promoting good nutrition and enjoyable mealtimes; handling children's toileting needs in a way which promotes a positive and healthy sense of self-awareness; establishing pleasant, essential rest periods for our children. girl: i made brushing my teeth so much fun, i never let the water run. hendrick: life isn't always exciting. it's not always thrilling. by having positive experiences during these middle moments, children can learn a lot. they can learn so much about social attitudes and customs and about gender differences. they can learn how to separate from their family,
become more independent, and how to form close relationships with others. they can learn how to just let go and relax. just because we must do them doesn't mean that routine tasks should be treated as chores. in reality, they present worthwhile learning opportunities. when our children look forward to eating, toileting, and resting, then we know we've done our job, which can be the most satisfying middle moment of them all. i'm joanne hendrick. see you next time on the whole child. announcer: life begins with baby steps. venturing out, exploring new skills, and testing new abilities-- they're all part of a child's physical development. how to help children grow by leaps and bounds, next time on the whole child. tried the noodle? you didn't find it good?
but that's not always the case. even though one in four children may have a vision problem, eye doctors tell us the symptoms aren't always so obvious. we do know that 80% of all childhood learning is visual. and without good vision, kids can have trouble learning to read. [ girls screaming ] ow! and may fall behind in school. for clues on how to spot the real-life signs of childhood vision problems and what parents can do, visit checkyearly.com. a public service message from the vision council of america and reading is fundamental.
funding for this program was provided by... safety is always paramount when it comes to children and physical play. however, helping our children develop physically also means letting them venture out to test their abilities and learn new skills. but where should you draw the line between personal achievement and personal safety?
hello. i'm joanne hendrick, author of the whole child and your guide to this video series. in this program, we're going to look at the physical development of young children and how we can help our children develop to the very best. we'll talk with teachers and see what sorts of things they do. we'll look at infants and preschoolers in a range of different programs: head start, family daycare homes, university-based schools, and private child care centers. how do we plan activities, design child care spaces, and provide equipment that is safe, stimulating, and appropate for each child's individual developmental level? that's our goal, and that's our challenge on this episode of the whole child. a child's physical challenges begin at birth. [baby cooing]
and they keep growing and changing as the child does. but where do we begin? what's our first step in helping nurture our children's mastery of their world? we can start by not trying too hard. we can learn so much about a child's abilities and needs simply by watching, observing...absorbing. only then can we arrange our space and activities so they provide experiences that both satisfy and intrigue the child... activities that entice him to achieve further physical skills. let's take a look at this baby. what physical skills do you think she has mastered already?
what type of environment do you think would allow this child to practice old skills while challenging her to develop new os? let's remember how important play is as the means children use to try out and practice new skills. what m look like simple reaching or pulling to us can really be this child's earliest efforts to master some vital large muscle skills. we want to make it into a swimming pool. woman: bring them over here now. hendrick: and large muscle skills include different kinds of activities. woman: no. right over here. child: where's the swimming pool? second child: we can't see! hendrick: teachers need to plan so that children can practice them all... while having fun. [children talking] child: this is hard work! hendrick: they need opportunities to develop upper body strength and expertise by pulling themselves up and hanging from apparatus; by swinging, and by rolling balls at targets and throwing bean bags.
geronimo! teacher: hop. let me see some hopping. hendrick: they need opportunities to strengthen their lower bodies by jumping up and down... very good. look straight ahead. hendrick: ...balancing on one foot and teetering along the edge of a low wall. big straddle jump. come on, joel, you can do it! super! hendrick: they need to coordinate some of these activities in time to music, both for the skills this develops... and for the sheer pleasure of it. [shout plays] ♪ come on, can't you say hey, hey ♪ woman, voice-over: people don't realize that are in this business that there's a need for children to be physically active for a large part of their day. and we tell parents, you know... one of the first things that they're upset by when they come is that we're taking these poor children out, and it's raining, or we're taking these poor children out, and it's 0 degrees. so we stress again the need for physical activity
and the need for them to be allowed to run and exercise. we provide them opportunities for large muscle play. provide them opportunities for fine muscle play. all of it is based on where they're at, you know, in their growth. hendrick: creating a physical environment that encourages exploration and physical development is important for children of all ages. let's do what we can to allow our infants plenty of free space for rolling, scooting... and eventually crawling. because babies love to look at moving objects and try to reach for them, think about hanging lots of mobiles, streamers, and scarves in their space... but out of harm's way, of course. [rattling] infants especially like to experiment with objects, so be sure there are plenty of rattles and easy-to-pick-up small toys for them to reach for and grab.
but let's also not forget a baby's natural tendency to check things out by putting them in their mouths. do you have any toys you want washed? yeah, the ones that are on the floor. hendrick: rather than trying to stop babies from mouthing objects, it's more realistic to make it a policy to disinfect our infant equipment at least on a daily basis. let's face it... whenever there are children around, there are also going to be lots of germs floating around looking for opportunities to infect us and make us sick. that's why we owe it to our children, their families, and ourselves to make sure we've done everything possible to reduce oppounities for illness and infection. we can start by insisting on updated immunizations for all children. we can require that contagious children stay home. and of course, hand washing is the single most effective way
to avoid spreading disease and keeping us all healthy. children and teachers both should get used to washing hands every single time after nose-blowing, before handlinfood, and after toileting or diapering. you're wet. you're wet. hendrick: what is your infant center's policy regarding diaper changing? does it include sanitizing the diaper area and washing hands after each baby is changed, as well as daily plans for disinfecting toys and equipment which are mouthed by the infants? using proper prevention techniques can do so much to help eliminate illness and infection in our classrooms before they strike our children...or ourselves. go get her. go. yeah! hendrick: one of the most exciting physical developments in early childhood is when toddlers take their first steps. woman: we do a lot of...um... a lot of working on their gross motor, their fine motor
by placing them on their stomach instead of just placing them on their back to look at the ceiling all day. that's so unfair to them because they want to do this stuff. helping a baby scoot by maybe pushing their feet while they're laying on their stomachs so maybe they can move their arms, and helping them that way. maybe a baby that's learning how to walk... to change the environment in the classroom, and instead of having all this fine motor stuff, bring in a lot of gross motor. we also have a little balance beam that i might just put flat on the floor, just for spatial awareness... just so that they get that feel. it might only be 1/2 inch up above the floor. simple little things like that for them. we have these poppers that they can push, or wagons, so that they can get that-- they have that control of pushing something, and they're behind it, and it balances them. we have little push cars
and also cars that they can sit on and use their legs, so they're using their legs and strengthening those muscles, and that helps them. woman: oh! oops! try again. come on, zak. come on, big guy. yeah! hendrick: why do you think it's important that we don't pressure or demand that our children excel at every physical task? many of us can recall some parent who discouraged their child from sports by demanding too much too soon. the goal is to encourage youngsters to want to become more skillful because they want to. most children are so delighted when they learn something new, they do it over and over without adult urging. man: you're going to run into the desk. you're going to run into the desk. turn it this way. there you go.
there you go. there you go. hendrick: let's also keep in mind that some children are more physically able than others are. remember, our goal is to support each child in their development according to their own abilities. i think that children-- physically delayed children-- need to, again, focus in on what... the progress that they are making and the things that they can do. and also, getting other children to help them with the things that are difficult with them makes the normally developing child feel good, and the special needs child is feeling important to that child, too. and so there's a good relationship that can occur between the child who needs the help and the child who's doing the helping. it's very... it's mutually beneficial. cara, would you like to ride on the boat? mark's looking for a friend. mark, cara would like to ride with you. hendrick: whenever possible, we should plan to include our children with special needs in fun and appropriate physical activities.
children with disabilities are developing their whole selves, too. can you lift your foot in? good job. there you go. ok, now let's see if you can make it rock up and down. hendrick: and we need to make sure there are plenty of opportunities for them to challenge and develop their physical abilities. using physical activities is an excellent way to help our children who have disabilities play with others and enhance their development. one of the things that i have is a very large, sturdy table with rounded corners that's perfect for the little ones. they can pull up on it. they can put their play objects on it and play with it. it's small enough and short enough so they can sit down without falling. they need to have something, and then they can walk. they can actually walk around the table for a certain distance. you have to improvise when you have a family group daycare home, and small tables and sturdy tables are perfect for small children. we also take them to a place in our center
which is a gross motor area and give them more of a chance to have the whole area to practice walking back and forth with. using your hands with, you know, helping them to learn how to walk is another great way. but i think it's just really your environment and how you can change it so they can learn how to walk. woman: be careful, nekay. hendrick: throughout the early years, a child's physical skills are developing at an astonishing rate. preschoolers need lots of opportunities to practice their new skills, and this means providing a variety of interesting equipment and activities to challenge them. but how do we know which equipment is appropriate and which activities are most effective with our children? equipment for physical activity should be sturdy and well-maintained. in addition to well-anchored climbing equipment, there should be an array of what we call "loose parts." these are things that children can move around and arrange to suit their play.
ladders, barrels, boards with cleats on the end, and sawhorses are ideal... even big empty boxes. child: ready or not! whoa! woman: whoa! hendrick: the important thing to remember is that there's more to play than providing equipment and toys. children also need enough time and space for vigorous, energetic, noisy physical play. [children shouting] our goal is to provide experiences for children that enhance the development of a wide range of large and small muscle skills. we're also there to keep our children healthy and safe. it's a fine line, but we can see how this teacher has mastered the art of being there for his children without resorting to nagging or being overprotective. is that something we climb? yes or no? no. 'cause why not? is it safe for us to climb on there?
no. so if you want to climb, there's a climber right over there that you can climb on, or down there, ok? when our children are playing outside or in the gym, that doesn't mean it's time for us to take a coffee break. did you notice how these teachers were involved in the outside play? by learning how to become creative within the environment using equipment and activities, we can do so much to challenge and enhance our children's physical abilities. we also need to think about keeping our centers as safe as possible for our developing children. here are some basic guidelines to follow. let's continually check the school surroundings and equipment to make sure it's kept in secure condition. what else can you do up here, jamie? hendrick: let's avoid lifting a child onto play equipment he cannot climb onto by himself. if he can't get up by himself, then it's probably too high for him to maneuver on safely. of course, swings are an exception to this rule. falling from high places is the most frequent cause
of serious injuries in preschools. grass is not soft enough to adequately cushion a fall. preserve deep, soft surfaces such as sand, rubber products, or bark mulches beneath high equipment. woman: what are you guys going to do now, huh? you want to go outside? hendrick: let's give our children breathing space and permission to have fun and explore new challenges. atta girl! come on. hendrick: children must be protected, but they also need the chance to venture and try out new things. ok, move your arms. there you go. yay! you were so high! you were so high! great job! children need to run, and they need to work off that energy. but along with that, we provide challenges for them. for instance, i would hope in an appropriate preschool
you would always see a climber... and a climber having stairs, a climber having maybe a chain that they will have to problem solve and figure out how to move on that. so even though they are running off energy, they're also outside problem-solving, figuring out ways to move their bodies on different objects to promote that development. hendrick: vigorous play is the breath of life to children. our young people need to climb... crawl... run... balance... and hang from equipment. what would you do? how would you use your environment? what sorts of activities and equipment would you suggest that would help your children maximize their playtime? we have...sometimes we involve dancing in our lesson plans. we have things like the balance beam out,
and that stimulates their coordination and their sense of balance. um...even going outside and running. so far, we have looked at how to provide an appropriate and safe environment and the proper equipment and activities. but there's more to physical development than just the large muscle tasks of walking, running, jumping, and climbing. we must always pay attention to the whole range of development, which includes coordination of eyes and hands-- often referred to as "fine motor development." i have a little scissors at home. you have a little scissors at home? they're lost now. hendrick: using crayons, scissors, stringing beads, and doing puzzles are all examples of fine muscle work. just remember that these kinds of activities are very taxing for young children. teachers should not expect children to work at such skills for too long without relief.
notice how these children are mastering a small muscle skill? what else can we do with materials and activities that could help children practice these skills? we have the peg boards with the little... the pegs and the peg boards. um...dress-up dolls to button, to tie things. those would be fine motor development, and those are all precursors to learning to write, meaning you need to strengthen your hand and finger muscles in order to hold the pencil correctly. even with art, we use sometimes the big brushes where they have a bigger grasp on things, or we use the smaller brushes or pencils. woman: brian, do you want to come on the feely wk? you need to take your shoes and socks off and tell me what you feel. that was soft.
soft. it was soft. oh, cold! that's the cold one. what's in there, jonathan? ice. ice. let's see... how will that feel on your feet? no. no, don't like that one, huh? hendrick: it's so important that we encourage our children to develop all their senses, like touch... sight... hearing... i think she's thinking about trick-or-treating. ...smell and taste... because the more they use them, the more they can learn. do you want to smell the next one? ok. let's see if we can guess what it is. hendrick: take a close look at these activities. what other activities can you think of that might help your children use all 5 senses?
woman: let's see what that was, rhondel. what is that? oh, you know what that is? girl: it's a rock! woman: it's a rock. hendrick: children love to explore and investigate new sensations. we can help by encouraging children to make comparisons by feeling and smelling things... do you know what that is? hendrick: ...as well as by looking at them. can you see it up there in the tree? man: and... give it a little bit of a tug! there you go! all right! all right. great job. hey, let's give these two scientists another round of applause. hendrick: science projects should be explored by handling and manipulation, rather than by simply looking at bulletin board pictures or observing demonstrations carried out by the teacher. one. now put it in your apple cup. follow your recipe. one...and put it in your apple cup. find your pear cup. hendrick: notice how this teacher uses snack as a way for children to explore their sense of touch, smell, and taste. in this, in this, in this.
strawberries... and grapes... i ate all of them! what did you eat all of? apples. would you like some more? yeah. i need some more pears. one...two...3. child: i need some more pears. you need some more pears? ♪ a, b, c, d, e, f, g ♪ h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p ♪ hendrick: this teacher is encouraging her children to tell sounds apart by listening closely to this rhyme. teacher: ♪ ...y, and z ♪ now i know my abc's ♪ next time, won't you sing with me? ♪ thanks for singing along with me. hendrick: another important part of the preschool day is relaxation and naptime. why do you think these relaxing times are so important for children?
young children are often under greater stress than we realize. the hurried pace of families' lives, the necessity of conforming to school routines and standards all increase the stress level for children. we can relieve that tension by helping children learn techniques for relaxation. during naptime, for example, we can reduce outside stimulation. in this classroom, the lights are off, the shades are drawn. how peaceful this room is with quiet music, rocking children, and back rubbing. we can also help our children release their tension through dance and movement activities, which alternate intense physical activity with stretching... yawning... and letting go. ok, have a good time today. ok? hendrick: why do you think physical attention and affection is important to the young child? [laughing] thkse knows, huh?
oh...bye. want to wave at the window? let's wave out the window. bye. love you. hi, sweetie. how are you? want to play with us? our dinosaurs are in the snow. good morning, benny. how are you, big guy? good to see you. hendrick: why is a warm hug valuable to them? do you want to make a dinosaur story with us? like adults, children need to be held, cuddled, and encouraged to express their affection for others. but at the same time, we must protect ourselves and our children from any hint or accusation of sexual abuse or inappropriate touching. i've found that working with families and having open drop-in policies can do a great deal to establish confidence. this type of climate builds trust so that physical affection and tenderness can be expressed without fear. to summarize, let's recap what we've learned about helping our children advance from one stage of physical development to the next.
it's never too soon to begin. motor skills begin in infancy. we must meet the child at his own level. remember, our goal is to support our children in their development according to their own abilities. children can only achieve mastery when they feel safe, so it's up to us to provide a secure environment, a range of stimulating activities, and equipment that is safe and flexible. full sensory experiences contribute to learning, so when we teach, let's include all the senses: smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste. we can't learn without proper rest and relaxation. children need a naptime every day. physical contact is critical. young children need to be cherished and cuddled in affectionate, appropriate ways, and they need to express affection in return. helping children develop large and small muscle skills
by providing them with rich opportunities for practice is an important way teachers can contribute to developing the whole child. to develop fully, children require many opportunities to grow, to gain physical prowess, and to move freely and joyfully throughout their environment. let's share the joy and satisfaction of these accomplishments with them as they grow, and do everything we can to enhance their delight. i'm joanne hendrick. see you next time on the whole child. it may not look like they're doing much, but babies are rapidly developing blueprints that will shape the rest of their lives. a caring adult can me a tremendous difference. how to make the most of those precious early months... because babies are children, too. next time on the whole child. hands down. reach for the mat. captioning performed by the national captioning institute, inc.